I had been working with Gene Kohn on doing some project, and he decided he would take the project with ATT. He took the project with him, and they discovered there was kind of a problem in the different levels of the earth. And they had to put something in that particular area to fill in the way the earth moved there. And he asked me, because I had worked with him on other things, would I make something for that space? And I said, “Like what?” He said, “Think of something, anything you want to do.”


And I did some research on the Long Lines headquarters, which is what it was, and discovered that the people who work there — and I mean these are the office buildings, practically lived in that area. Now it was a place that — I found it a very strange way to live. So, I thought I’d like to make something to bring those people out of the building, into the landscape, but also that they could have entertainment, that they could have lunch or we were trying to do something that was not visible in terms of use, but gave them the opportunity to use it the way they wanted.


He was an extraordinary person to work with, because he was like “Open sesame”. I gave him three different choices, all of them with that concept, but very different. And he liked that, but it was enormous, and I didn’t realize how enormous, but the problem with the earth was such that it had to go way beyond the normal use of anything that was still in the area. But he went along with everything, and we did this extraordinary thing. It was a wonderful experience, I can tell you that. Have you seen photographs of it recently? Well, let me tell you something, it’s like meeting an old lover who’s gotten old. Only it’s worse, he’s gone bald. ATT gave up their Long Lines headquarters there, and they just abandoned the work.


So, the earth disintegrated, they didn’t keep up the grass, and you just see these walls, and it has — it’s so much it was divine that I should have that happen, because it was like having a ruin equivalent to all of these wonderful ruins that I see around Europe. There in the middle of New Jersey is this abandoned — they still own the headquarters and everything, and they never pulled it up, but they didn’t keep it up. So, it has all of that mystery of an abandoned, let’s say, Roman Theater that you have — now time. I have always wanted time to be part of the quality of the work that I’ve done.


I’ve always wanted to feel that the time contributed to the aesthetics. So, it’s really like somehow or other, my present became my future, and the present being that I’ve lived with all of these ruins around Rome and Greece or other places I have worked, and suddenly I have my own ruin.

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